After suffering a setback to England by four wickets in their second warm-up match yesterday in Guwahati, Bangladesh will travel to Dharamsala to open their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan. Despite this, they will be encouraged by the return to fitness of their captain, Shakib Al Hasan, who will be leading the team.
At the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Bangladesh were defeated by four wickets yesterday evening, with Najmul Hossain Shanto serving as the team’s captain in the absence of Shakib, who is out with an injury. After Bangladesh had scored 188 for nine in 37 overs after winning the toss in the rain-interrupted match, the reigning world champions were given a revised target of 197, which they brought down in 24.1 overs despite losing the top half of their batting lineup inside 114 runs during an aggressive chase.
After scoring 84 runs against Sri Lanka in the first warm-up match, Bangladesh would feel pleased about the batting form of opener Tanzid Hasan Tamim, who scored 45 runs off of 44 balls in the second warm-up match. The all-rounder Mehedi Hasan Miraz scored his second straight half-century during an innings-high of 74, which will be a huge lift for the team as a result of their strong batting record.
Mustafizur Rahman’s two wickets at the top of the order were the brightest moment in the bowling innings. The speed bowlers also did quite well overall.
Shakib, who has been out for the last two practise matches due to an ankle injury that he sustained more recently during a session of training, is expected to make a full recovery in time to start the encounter against Afghanistan. This news comes as a source of further comfort.
During the coin toss that took place yesterday, Shanto assured everyone that Shakib was in top physical condition and would be ready for the first match.
During the toss at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati, Shanto said that Shakib [Al Hasan] is ready for the first match and that he is feeling 100 percent better than before.
In their first practise match, which took place on 29 September at the same location, Bangladesh had defeated Sri Lanka by a score of seven wickets.